For the first time, data from the ABS Census of Population and Housing has been integrated with Tasmanian Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) data and National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection, as well as Tasmanian government school enrolments and National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) data, to enhance the evidence base about the socioeconomic context of early childhood development and student achievement. Key insights from each of the articles are outlined below.
Factors influencing early childhood development in Tasmania
When other factors were held constant, the variables that had strong and consistently significant relationships with a child's developmental vulnerability in their first year of schooling across all five AEDC domains were:
- the regularity with which a child was read to (or encouraged in their reading) at home
- the level of parental engagement with a child's school in support of their learning, and
- a child's sex.
The factors that had a significant effect on a child's developmental vulnerability across some AEDC domains were:
Against the Odds: Factors influencing child development in Tasmania
- the number of hours a child was enrolled in preschool in the year before school
- parental education levels
- the number of children in their family
- the age at which a child started school
- child type, and
- the socioeconomic status and remoteness of the area in which they lived.
Socioeconomic context of student achievement in Tasmania
- 40% of children from lower socioeconomic households were developmentally vulnerable on one or more AEDC domains.
- 11% of children from higher socioeconomic households were developmentally vulnerable on one or more AEDC domains.
- Higher levels of parental engagement and reading to a child very regularly were protective factors against developmental vulnerability, while lower engagement and less regular reading were risk factors of developmental vulnerability.
- Girls were less likely to be developmentally vulnerable than boys, regardless of the socioeconomic level of the household.
Destinations and outcomes of Tasmanian early school leavers
- Students in higher income households do better in NAPLAN.
- Students in crowded houses tend to have lower NAPLAN results.
- Students with no internet connection at home have poorer NAPLAN scores.
- Students with a disability have lower NAPLAN scores, particularly boys.
Destinations and outcomes of Tasmanian Year 12 graduates
- Students with lower NAPLAN results are less likely to continue on to Year 12.
- Early school leavers have much lower engagement rates post school than Year 12 graduates.
- Higher NAPLAN scores are related to better employment outcomes for early school leavers.
- About a quarter of early school leavers are enrolled in further study.
- Female early school leavers are more likely to do unpaid carer work while males are more likely to be doing voluntary work.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have lower engagement in work and study post Year 12.
- One year out from school, about 30% of Year 12 graduates were studying at University.
- One year out from school, about three quarters of those not continuing study were employed.
- Five years out from school, 45% of Year 12 graduates had completed a non-school qualification and a further 23% were studying towards one.
- Five years out from school, defence force members, fire fighters and police were the highest paid.